Hotel quarantine seems to be a regular part of travel these days, much to our dismay. In Japan, visitors have to quarantine for a certain amount of time depending on where they came from. Those coming from Indonesia and Kyrgystan must quarantine for 10 days in a hotel, then 4 days at home.
Those coming from Bangladesh, the UAE, Myanmar, Afghanistan, India, Zambia, Sri Lanka, Nepal and the Maldives must stay 6 days in a hotel and 8 days at home.
Those coming from many other countries must stay three days in a hotel and 11 days at home (check the official list here https://www.mofa.go.jp/ca/fna/page4e_001053.html#section3)
So for those who are stuck in hotel quarantine, how can you get through? The hotel rooms in Japan are said to be very small, and the food not quite the delicious Japanese cuisine you imagine.
Tip #1 – Use the internet to find workout videos
Many people have said that the ability to exercise keeps them sane. You can’t exercise very well in rooms the size of a Western bathroom, but you can do the best with what you have. There are many videos dedicated specifically to workouts you can do in your hotel room, see here. If you need more room, don’t be opposed to moving the furniture to make space. A yoga mat, weights, resistance bands, and skipping ropes are all items you can easily bring with you.
Tip #2 – Bring your own snacks and anything else you might need.
The hotel will not allow you to order Uber Eats or other food delivery services. They will also not provide anything other than your bento meal and a few snacks. You may prepackaged/not fresh snacks delivered.
Tip #3 – Inform the hotel of dietary restrictions
When you arrive at your quarantine hotel, the staff will check your documents and then take you to your room. At this point, you should inform them of any dietary restrictions that you have. But we have heard that people are sometimes given meals not in line with their restrictions, so be prepared with snacks just in case.
Tip #4 – Maintain a regular schedule
As tempting as it is to lie in bed in your pyjamas all day, it is much better for your mental health to follow a regular schedule. That means getting up in the morning and getting dressed into “day clothes”. This is an important cue for your brain to transition into daytime mode. Then try and stick to a schedule – work time, relaxation time, eating time, relaxing time and so on. This will help prevent you from slipping into a void of endless empty time. A feeling of purpose will do you the world of good. You can create a to-do list of tasks you want to accomplish during the day. It is recommended to keep the brain active for six hours a day, so try and schedule this in.
Tip #5 – Keep communication channels open
You will be totally isolated in your room with no one to speak to. You might feel like you have forgotten the sound of your own voice. So for your mental health it’s a good idea to communicate with friends or family via video chat.
Author: Dara Robinson
Dara grew up in New Zealand, Australia and the USA and has lived in Japan since 2014. She has experience with Japanese bureaucracy and has enrolled her three year old daughter in both daycare and kindergarten in Japan. She loves to travel and has been to all 47 prefectures of Japan.